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Enhanced visual short-term memory for angry faces

Jackson, Margaret C., Wu, Chia-Yun, Linden, David Edmund Johannes and Raymond, Jane E. 2009. Enhanced visual short-term memory for angry faces. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 35 (2) , pp. 363-374. 10.1037/a0013895

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Although some views of face perception posit independent processing of face identity and expression, recent studies suggest interactive processing of these 2 domains. The authors examined expression–identity interactions in visual short-term memory (VSTM) by assessing recognition performance in a VSTM task in which face identity was relevant and expression was irrelevant. Using study arrays of between 1 and 4 faces and a 1,000-ms retention interval, the authors measured recognition accuracy for just-seen faces. Results indicated that significantly more angry face identities can be stored in VSTM than happy or neutral face identities. Furthermore, the study provides evidence to exclude accounts for this angry face benefit based on physiological arousal, opportunity to encode, face discriminability, low-level feature recognition, expression intensity, or specific face sets. Perhaps processes activated by the presence of specifically angry expressions enhance VSTM because memory for the identities of angry people has particular behavioral relevance.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Publisher: American Psychological Association
ISSN: 1939-1277
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:59

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